One advantage for the small business to using the cloud is the green impact it will have. A business can still be competitive, and high tech, by relying on the cloud for its computing resources. In this economy, being known as a green company is also an advantage.
Servers in the Cloud
By relying on a platform as a service (PaaS) cloud solution, you reduce the amount of equipment you have to maintain onsite. This takes the burden of supporting servers, storage and network devices from your budget. It also means you don’t need the power, cooling and physical space requirements when managing your own data center. Less equipment means a smaller carbon footprint.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy
Implement a BYOD policy in your business and reduce the employee equipment that you’ll have to maintain. Staff use their own laptops, tablets and smartphones to do their job. You’ll reduce your energy requirement even further. This is also a step toward virtual offices, or hoteling, requiring less physical space for employees. With BYOD, the cloud and flexible hours, staff can do their work from anywhere and anytime.
Reduce Physical Print-Outs
Have your cloud vendor configure a default print server which creates PDFs. These files can be accessed by any device attached to the cloud for review. Documents that must be printed, such as contracts requiring a signature, can still be printed out in your office and taken to the client for review and a signature.
Use Digital Signatures
Reduce your paperwork even more by using encrypted digital signatures. This allows you to store and track client and vendor signed documents digitally. Save on paper and the headache of losing the original signed paper copy due to poor filing.
Integrate ADP electronic invoicing into your business from the start and cut out the paperwork and increase receivables. Electronic invoices can be sent to your customers and vendors. Payment can be done through the invoice or at an online location. Reminders and follow up of electronic invoices are easier than with paper invoices.
Most cloud vendors have their own collaboration tools or will integrate with products such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Project areas can be created where your teams can work together on projects. Minimize paperwork and long sessions in conference rooms with these tools. Products such as Evernote and Skype keep your staff connected and productive.
As a startup, you have the ability to be flexible and structure your business around these green techniques and using the cloud. Established companies have a harder time converting to this model. Get on board with the cloud early and gain a reputation as a forward-thinking company that can adapt their business and be successful.
Information credit to ADP Solutions.